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Laura Coates Live

Israel's Cabinet Votes By Significant Majority To Approve Hostage Release Deal; Judge Denies Effort To Revoke Bond For Trump Co- Defendant. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 21, 2023 - 23:00   ET





ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Can Mick Jagger still start it up without spraining a hip? Well, 2024 will help us find out. The "Stones," they are back on the road in North America to support their latest album. It is their first stateside tour since 2021, and the tour is sponsored by, you guessed it, the AARP.

Thank you for watching "NewsNight." "Laura Coates Live" starts right now. Laura, I'm not sure I could do that without breaking a hip, but, you know.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Oh, I don't know about you, but I have the moves like Jagger. I'm sorry. I don't know how you didn't work that into that.

PHILLIP: I believe you. I believe you.

COATES: I do. But let me like -- I don't -- I don't want anything to come down on me because the "Rolling Stones" fans see the shade you just threw, and I don't want any part of it. You think the beehive is bad. "Rolling Stones." I don't know what you guys do. So, that was Abby Phillip, not Laura Coates.

PHILLIP: I'm sitting in this chair, so I have no shade to throw.

COATES: All right. Well, there you go. Nice to see you, Abby Phillip.

PHILLIP: Me, too.


COATES: See you back tomorrow.

Breaking news, a deal to release some of the hostages, but who and when will they be home, and at what price? Tonight, on "Laura Coates Live."

I mean, can you even begin to imagine how agonizing it has been for the families of the hostages that were taken on October 7th? And it has been 45 days, 45 days, 45 days of not knowing where they are, how they are, and whether they will ever, ever see them again.

Now with the entire world watching and waiting, Israel has signed off on the deal to release some of the estimated 240 people being held hostage. The deal would free at least 50 women and children. Sources telling CNN that there are as many as 40 children in the group.

Now, there will be a four-day pause in fighting with an extra day to be added for each 10 additional hostages, three Palestinian prisoners will be released every, uh -- for every single hostage, and the Red Cross will get access to hostages that are still in Gaza.

Now, Barak Ravid, one of the best-informed correspondents on this story who will be here in a moment, says that Israeli officials tell him the pause in fighting will start -- when? Well, when the first child crosses the border back into Israel. But even with this news tonight, the wait for these families is not over.

Now, there's also a legally mandated 24-hour waiting period to allow Israelis to appeal the decision to the country's Supreme Court. But still, even then, the wait will not be over. All of these 50 or so hostages are not expected to be released at once on a single day. Instead, it will be staggered, maybe day by day. And the families will likely learn shortly before it happens whether their loved one will be released soon after.

Now imagine what it would be like for them. I mean, every day waiting for your loved one, your child's name to come up. Imagine what it's like for the family of nearly four-year-old Abigail. Senior U.S. officials say that she could soon be released along with two American women.


LIZ HIRSH NAFTALI, GREAT AUNT OF 3-YEAR-OLD HOSTAGE ABIGAIL EDAN: But, you know, when I think about that on Friday is Abigail's fourth birthday, and that she should be home with her family and with her sister and brother, and she isn't right now.


COATES: I don't know how these families are able to even put one foot in front of the other some of these days, but their focus has remained. And their goal, bringing their loved ones home, loved ones like 13-year-old Gali.


KAMELIA HOTER ISHAY, GRANDMOTHER OF 13-YEAR-OLD HOSTAGE GALI TARSHANSKY (through translator): So, regarding all the deals being made, I'm trying not to follow it and not to rely on them so that I don't develop a hope that I then lose. And the only thing I am waiting for is the phone call from my daughter, Roma (ph), who will say Gali is coming back. And then I'll know that it's really over, and I can breathe a sigh of relief and say that's it, it's over.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Not wanting to hope. Like the family of 12-year-old Erez and his 16-year-old sister Sahar along with their father.



ABBEY ONN, THREE FAMILY MEMBERS HELD BY HAMAS, TWO OTHERS KILLED: I feel like the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that children are not a part of war. And if we're able to get them home as soon as possible, then I think that's a good thing for all of us.


COATES: The Israeli government says it would be prepared to extend the deal if Hamas is prepared to release more hostages. After all, there are an estimated 200 people who were not included in this initial deal. So, what about them? Are they still alive? How are they being cared for? When will they come home? Really, what's going to happen next?

Let's go to CNN's chief global affairs correspondent Matthew Chance. He is in Tel Aviv. Matthew, this is extraordinary news tonight. Tell me who has been waiting for even this moment to happen. The cabinet has approved of this hostage deal. So, what do we know about the details and what's going to happen next?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a good question. I mean, we've got that legally mandated pause to allow for appeals against this deal at the Supreme Court. It's not likely to be an obstacle, but it is a legal hurdle that has to be overcome. And so, we're expecting the first of the hostages to be released on Thursday local time, so in about 24 hours, just under 24 hours from now. But I mean, we're speculating a bit because no time frame has been given.

I can tell you, listening to some of those relatives of the loved ones, of the people that are being held in Gaza, I mean, all day, I've been speaking to members of families here in Tel Aviv who have got family members inside Gaza, and there's mixed feelings among them about this deal.

On the one side, I met a woman, I think it was the mother of Gali, the grandmother whose soundbite you showed there, and she was very optimistic actually at this point that perhaps her 13-year-old daughter, who is being held as a hostage inside Gaza, would be released. She was very upbeat by the prospects for that given this deal.

But other people I spoke to were much less so, much more upset. I mean, one woman from kibbutz Be'eri was despondent. She said -- look, she's happy for those people, they're going to be included in this deal, but her nephew is a 38-year-old man, not in the army, nothing like that. He was just abducted from his Kibbutz and there's very little chance at this point of him being released.

And, of course, as you mentioned, there are about 200 people who are not going to be included in this hostage deal. That's one of the reasons, Laura, why doing this deal for the Israelis has been so controversial. They are concerned that the pause in the fighting could allow Hamas to rebuild and to, you know, kind of gain back some military initiative. But more than anything else, it's about all the people it leaves behind, and that's really hard for Israelis to grapple with.

COATES: I mean, this deal, as you're talking, it occurs to so many people that this requires the Israeli government to trust that the remaining hostages are alive and well. But they can't just take their word for it. They were learning this deal does include Red Cross visits to hostages who are still captive in Gaza. What more can you tell us about that?

CHANCE: Well, first of all, I think that's a major -- a major concession by Hamas and a major gain for the Israelis that they have managed to negotiate this clause, if you like, in which the Red Cross, the ICRC, will be able to go into the Gaza Strip and actually access that hostages that are still there on an ongoing basis.

And so that's going to give the Israeli government and, of course, families in Israel a bit more clarity about whether their loved ones are still surviving because, you know, this figure of 236 is the figure that's bounded around about the number of hostages that are being held by Hamas and other militant groups inside Gaza, well, we don't know, nobody knows what their condition is, whether they're dead or alive.

I mean, some of them, we know, are dead, but others, we're not sure about. And so, the ICRC will be able to give the families and all of us some clarity on that.

COATES: I mean, you got to wonder, Matthew, why would Hamas agree to knowing the location or alerting them to the location of the hostages and the concession being made? It's one question that, I think, is looming over all of this, but thank goodness that there are at least some people coming home.

Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

I want to bring in Axios political and foreign policy reporter and Middle East expert Barak Ravid.


I'm so glad that you're here. You've heard the news that Israel has agreed to this deal. But the big question, of course, is what the people think about it, number one, and when will the first hostages be released. Do you know when the first will be able to go home?

BARAK RAVID, POLITICAL AND FOREIGN REPORTER, AXIOS: I think we are starting to get more and more clarity about this question, and this comes from a statement that the government of Qatar issued just a few minutes ago. They say that sometime in the next 24 hours, they, the government of Qatar, the mediators, are going to announce when the pause in fighting is going to start. It's going to start sometime on Thursday and it is going to start, again, when the first hostages come back from Gaza to Israel.

So, I think we are really looking at something between 24 to 36 hours before this thing will start to be implemented, before we'll see the buses coming out of Israeli prisons with 150 Palestinian prisoners, and when we see the Red Cross bringing those Israeli hostages to the border with Egypt and from there to Israel.

But this is going to be a very sensitive and difficult and complex process because it's not going to happen all at once.

COATES: Right.

RAVID: It's going to be drawn down over four days. And during those four days, a lot of things can go wrong.

COATES: Barak, I mean, when you were mentioning the exchange part, many people haven't been talking about this aspect of it because there are expected to be 150 Palestinian prisoners who will be released as well. Do we know anything about those prisoners? There are women and children among them. Do we know more about why these particular prisoners have been chosen or what they were in Israel for?

RAVID: Well, I think most of them were chosen because they were just there. You know, Hamas knew that for women and children, it can only ask for Palestinian women and Palestinian minors who were convicted. And they're in Israeli prisons. There is something like, I think, between 400 to 450 of those. And in this deal, at least in phase one, 150 of them are going to be released.

Most of them are people that did not kill Israelis but were involved in attacks like, you know, trying to stab a soldier or a policeman or throwing a Molotov cocktail. That's just an example. There are many others. Each case, it's a case by case issue. But I think that very soon, the next few hours, we will know the identity of those people because the Israeli government has to announce it according to law.

COATES: And when will we know the names of the hostages, the Israelis who will be returned? Will they -- I'm assuming they will all be -- there's a variety of different, you know, national identities that are coming and had been taken as well. But will we know the names of those hostages as well?

RAVID: I think we will know them either after they will be released or very, very close to the time of the release because the process is that every evening, from the point when the pause will start, Hamas will transfer to Israel the names of the people who are going to be released the next day, and they're going to pass this thing to Israeli negotiators, who are people who work in the government.

And I don't know if they're going to announce those names ahead of time, maybe to just tell the families. It's pretty unclear. And again, I'm not even sure that by now, there's total clarity about who those people are. I mean, we know who are the kids that are missing, but we're not sure who are the kids that Hamas is holding and that it's going to release as part of this deal. COATES: I mean, it's unimaginable to think about this happening and being a parent or a loved one waiting to see if that name is coming up. And for some of these children, who are they going home to?

RAVID: Laura, I'll tell you something which is even more unimaginable.


RAVID: Some of those kids are there in Gaza with their father. Okay? Because their mother was murdered in the October 7th attack. And their father is not going to be released. They're going to come back to Israel, to the family that they have left, but their father is going to stay in Gaza in captivity. We're going to see in the next few days a combination and almost -- you know, this crazy combination between happiness and tragedy. And --


RAVID: -- each of those people who's going to be released is such a tragic story that I don't even know how we can handle it.


COATES: And then what? Barak Ravid, thank you so much. Unbelievable.

RAVID: Thank you. Good night.

COATES: Good night.

With us now, Moran Alony. Both of his sisters, brother-in-law, and three young nieces were kidnapped from their kibbutz on October 7th. Moran, finally, there is word that Israel has agreed to a deal to exchange hostages, you've heard this, 50 women and children with the possibility of more. I mean, five of your six family members are women and children. How are you feeling tonight? Have you heard anything from the government specifically?

MORAN ALONY, FAMILY STILL MISSING AFTER HAMAS ATTACK: No, we haven't heard anything yet. We're getting our knowledge from the news, mostly. And how do I feel about it? First of all, as Ravid mentioned, we don't know who's the women and who's the children that are getting released. And so, given that we don't know who is getting released and we don't know when, it feels like they're playing roulette with our emotions and with our lives.

It's, uh -- it's unbearable to think about a situation where another hostage, another child is getting released. How would we feel if it's not our child?

COATES: Very difficult to think about.

ALONY: That's a horrible feeling to feel. Exactly. And so, I think that until, you know, we don't have our family by our side, it will just continue the same for us.

And in addition to that, you mentioned five out of six. My brother-in- law there, the father of Emma (ph) and Julie (ph), and the husband of my sister, Sharon (ph). This hole in our family will not be able to close until he's getting back. And no one says when the rest are getting released.

And so, again, it feels like a very cynical use of people and people's life to gain an advantage by these murderers. I don't have any other way to see it.

COATES: Well, Moran, what do you think of the decision by the government in Israel to agree to these terms?

ALONY: I want to believe that if the government came to agree on that, given that there were other deals that they did not accept, as far as I understand, I want to believe that that's a good deal for now. It's an opportunity, and eventually, it's an opportunity to bring the children home.

I think that the children are the most important part of it because they don't have the tools to handle the situation that they're at the moment. The grown-ups, I think, can -- may be hold less longer. But I don't think there is a single mother or a father there that will say -- that will refuse to release his children, who say, first of all, release my children. And so, I want to believe that that's a good deal given the current situation.

COATES: I can imagine even those who are not parents, who will see a child and say, free them first, just knowing the gravity of what's going on. Moran Alony, we will be thinking of you. It's unimaginable. I keep saying it. That's the word I keep thinking about because it's so difficult to even know what's next and that it has been 45 days of the agony that your family has had to endure and so many others. We're thinking of you. Thank you.

ALONY: Thank you. Thank you very much.

COATES: When we come back, he has negotiated hundreds of hostage situations. I'm going to ask him what he thinks will happen next with this very deal.



COATES: President Biden putting out a statement just moments ago on the deal to release the hostages in Gaza. He writes -- quote -- "As president, I have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Americans held hostage around the world."

"That's why -- from the earliest moments of Hamas's brutal assault -- my national security team and I have worked closely with regional partners to do everything possible to secure the release of our fellow citizens. We saw the first results of that effort in late October, when two Americans were reunited with their loved ones. Today's deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released." Now, questions still loom over how this deal will be implemented and how many hostages are being left behind. Here now to discuss, former Navy SEAL commander and coordinator of the hostage working group for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Daniel O'Shea. So glad that you're here this evening. I have so many questions. One of them is why would Israel and Hamas as well agree to this particular negotiation?


On the one hand, it allows for a greater number of Palestinian prisoners to be released than Israeli hostages. It also allows Red Cross to see the location of the hostages which, of course, leaves Hamas more vulnerable to a future attack. Are you surprised by this deal?

DANIEL O'SHEA, FORMER NAVY SEAL COMMANDER: No. It's why Hamas took these hostages in the first place. They knew they were going to be a bargaining chip and they were going to need that. They knew the IDF would respond and it would be overwhelming. And both the response to data has brought Hamas to the knees and the IDF from international pressure from throughout the world, including the U.S.

In particular, the U.S. administration putting pressure on Netanyahu for the ceasefire to get hostages back, specifically the Americans. But ultimately 240-odd hostages, 30-odd countries represented, there has been tremendous pressure on Netanyahu and his government to get this hostage situation resolved, which is why they were taken in the first place by Hamas.

COATES: Well, you've negotiated hundreds of hostage deals. With Hamas, it all comes down to trust, as they all would in hostage negotiations. But can you trust that this is a done deal? Are there some guardrails in place to assure? Is it -- what can be done?

O'SHEA: The challenge is we did not have a negotiated settlement across the table. You know, Hamas and Israel did not sit across the table. This negotiation was done through third-party intermediaries, U.S. officials, diplomats from around the world, sheikhs, NGOs like the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and just networks and upwards into the Qatari family that has been instrumental in this ongoing process. Again, Qatar has become the Switzerland of the Middle East in this.

But this deal could go pear-shaped overnight, and all this media exposure and the emphasis by the president to make statements raises the stakes that anything could go wrong. I'm just -- I dealt with over 400 (INAUDIBLE) in Iraq, and I can count on one hand the number of successful endings we had.

So, I don't believe anything is going to happen until it happens for real. So, we are still a far away from pulling this off and anything could go wrong, a friendly fire incident, a false viral news report. It's very tenuous. So, I'm being very cautious at this point until the actual hostages start coming home safely.

COATES: Well, I certainly will hold my breath the way you just described that and just thinking about what could possibly go wrong. But also, there is this very real concern that there are additional hostages that will still remain and be left behind, at least temporarily. Israel also saying that the air and ground attack will continue once the hostage release concludes. So, will a significant pause make that harder?

O'SHEA: Well, again, Hamas is going to have the chance to refit, retrograde. They're going to pull back, retreat probably. They're going to resupply. They've been out of communications from what we understand. There's no media, cell phone, Wi-Fi. So, it's going to give Hamas a chance to regroup, which is why they were striving for the ceasefire and why they agreed to those terms.

But again, the IDF, they're under tremendous pressure and this thing is going to be dragging out. So, we could foresee another stalemate in another day, a week or two, maybe longer for another hostage exchange. There are 200 plus hostages being left behind. So, this hostage process could be dragged out for weeks and the coming months ahead.

COATES: I mean, I would assume that the government will want to interview and debrief the hostages that are returning. Obviously, if many are children, a bit more of a difficult process to do. But how might the information that they could possibly provide be helpful in getting the others home or even aiding in the ground offensive?

O'SHEA: Well, I don't think it's going to aid in the ground offensive per se, but it certainly will give IDF planners and others -- you know, they would love to do hostage rescue mission within the IDF, but no more challenging environment than the densely-packed region of Gaza.

We presume that most of these hostages are being held in the tunneling system. And to channelize your forces into a tunnel underground would be the absolute worst-case scenario for hostage rescue missions.

So, there will be tremendous -- there will be intelligence coming out in terms of the conditions they're in, but there won't be a lot of intelligence per se for the IDF in terms of their ground campaign.

And again, hostage rescue in this scenario is going to be very challenging even with a 10-digit grid that may come out of some of this intelligence, including the fact that the Red Cross is now going to have the chance to go visit these hostages. But again, both sides had to make concessions to get this deal realized.


COATES: And as you suggest, the idea of visiting these hostages will give more information about the condition, where they are, the likelihood to get them back as well. Daniel O'Shea, thank you so much.

O'SHEA: Thank you.

COATES: It took a complicated web of negotiations to say the least to get here, including on the part of the United States. So, what went into the talks to get to where we are now? We'll go there, next.


COATES: A deal to free at least 50 hostages held by Hamas has now been struck tonight. But it was the result of weeks of hard negotiations between Israel, Hamas, and the United States, with Qatar playing a major mediating role.

Sources telling CNN the deal began to come together after a breakthrough sometime last week, with leaders of the U.S. and Israel agreeing to the contours of the deal in order to free 50 women and children in Hamas captivity. The deal nearly sank when Qatar briefly lost contact with Hamas, which was furious over the IDF raid on Al- Shifa Hospital.

Once talks restarted, Biden made clear to the Qatari leader, this time, it was time to make a deal. Soon after the outline was passed back and forth between Israel and Hamas through Qatar, getting all parties then to get on board.


Joining me now to discuss, former deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, Joel Rubin. He's also running for Congress in Maryland. Joel, so good to see you tonight. Thank you. I mean --

Yes, Laura.

COATES: -- emotions are running very high. They have been for 45 days at the very least. It must be very difficult to strike a deal in a negotiation with all the nuance, all the opinion, and all the emotion.

JOEL RUBIN, FORMER OBAMA DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: It's an incredible moment of complexity. As you point out, emotion. These are real human beings. These are real families that are going to be some in euphoria and some in deep despair. And what we're looking at is a military pause that also impacts the battlefield that Israelis are deeply concerned about what is taking place in Gaza and what that will mean for their future. So, all of this is coming together.

But at the end of the day, getting people out of harm's way, this is one of the primary objectives of the military response by Israel to Hamas's invasion of southern Israel. And this is an achievable milestone. It looks like it will go forward, but it's certainly just the beginning of the end but really just not truly ending the nightmare that we're watching.

COATES: It's pretty clear that President Biden had a hand in this. I mean, Netanyahu giving credit, speaking about that very aspect of it. One of the three Americans could actually be part of the release as well. How significant is that?

RUBIN: Well, it appears there are 10 Americans overall, and any American getting out now would be crucial for President Biden to demonstrate that his leadership, which has been strong throughout -- and it's worth mentioning he has been working the phones throughout this process, sending his team out there, CIA Director Bill Burns, our humanitarian assistance coordinator David Satterfield. That's also part of this deal.

It's crucial to show that his leadership is delivering results for the American people and this is part of it. Hopefully, these Americans will come home.

COATES: You know, for many people, they're remembering back in, I think, 2011, when there was an Israeli soldier who was exchanged, I think, for a thousand --

RUBIN: Yeah.

COATES: -- Palestinians.

RUBIN: Right.

COATES: Here, it seems to be a one to three ratio in terms of hostages to Palestinians. There was a lot of criticism about that particular deal in the past, looking back, obviously, in hindsight, which is a luxury. When you look at the contours of this deal, how do you feel about it?

RUBIN: You know, it's a horrible moment to think that Hamas intentionally kidnapped civilians from Israel for this exact purpose. You know, what Hamas is doing right now is suing for a pause. They took these people out of their homes in order to use them as bartering chips to reduce the pressure on them that they knew Israel would execute through a military onslaught. At the same time, these people must come home.

So, it is bittersweet. Gilad Shalit, when he was returned 10 years ago in exchange for over a thousand Hamas fighters, it was also bittersweet, but it was a moment of rejoice because in Israel and in Judaism, every individual is the universe. And so, every individual matter.

And that at the end of the day is the ethical difference between Israel and Hamas. What Israel is doing is retrieving their people who are in harm's way, understanding there is a risk, but it's worth that risk.

COATES: Well, there are sadly going to be 200 or more others who are behind and wondering what will happen with them next. Red Cross will have a chance to see the condition of hostages. Really important conversation and what will come next even more important. Thank you so much.

RUBIN: Thanks, Laura.

COATES: Joel Rubin, everyone. Look, these hostages have been held in Gaza for more than six weeks. My question is, what will their readjustment be like? Someone who knows that very well is Jason Rezaian, who was held prisoner in Iran for 18 months. He's my guest, next.



COATES: Fifty of the hostages held by Hamas could soon be coming home. But what comes next for those who have suffered the horrific kidnapping and endured captivity for over six weeks?

I want to bring in someone who knows all too well what it's like to be held hostage, "Washington Post" journalist Jason Rezaian. He was imprisoned for 544 days in Iran after being detained there back in 2014. He's now a global opinions writer for "The Washington Post" and author of the book, "Prisoner."

Jason, I'm so glad that you're here. I mean, you must be thinking all sorts of things as you watch the hostage situation in places like Gaza and beyond. I mean, you've said in the past that you remain vigilant and nervous during the waiting period before the release of any hostages. Why those words?

JASON REZAIAN, GLOBAL OPINIONS WRITER FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: So many things can still go wrong until someone is released and back in the arms of their loved ones. Every time you hear about one of these stories, you know, we just get the most cursory details of actually what went into releasing these people. Oftentimes, it's months, weeks, sometimes years of negotiations. And in the final hours, those things can fall apart.

In this situation, not only are there hundreds of people involved, small children, elderly, but also people of 40 different nationalities, and there's a war raging on above the ground where they're being held. So, you know, a lot of things can still go sideways.


I hope that everybody comes out safely and that this is the end of their nightmare and their family's nightmares. But the road ahead is still so fraught and long.

COATES: You know, the idea of false hopes that might be even used against people as a psychological tool as well to torture someone, to make them believe they have a chance, let alone the internal hope that everyone would have that they will be freed. I mean, you were wrongfully imprisoned for an agonizing -- I can't believe it, 18 months. We're actually watching right now the moment you were returned with your family following your release.

Walk us through -- you said that the road ahead can be still fraught. Walk us through what happens when you are free from captivity? I would assume there's a kind of a transitional period, maybe a debriefing, examinations of some type, or are you allowed to just go home to your family and remain with them immediately?

REZAIAN: Well, Laura, it's a really good question, and I think it's different in every case and from one country to the next. U.S. government offers specialized care after the release. Some people take the government up on it. Some people don't. I did. I spent about five days at Landstuhl, medical facility of the U.S. military in Germany. Frankly, looking back, I wish I'd stayed a few days longer.

You're raring to go, you want to get back into the world, you want to see the people that you've been missing. But you're not ready for it. You know, you have been conditioned to be in captivity and it takes a long time to get used to freedom again.

And I think, you know, when people who haven't been through it hear that, they think to themselves, well, that sounds sort of odd. It is odd. The whole -- the whole experience is not like anything that we're raised and educated and ever ready for.

So, once you've had that experience, just the process of mentally slowing down of your shoulders, kind of easing the tension, the elevated tension that has persisted constantly, waking hours and sleeping hours for so long, it's not something that's easy to describe and it's not something that's easy to come down from.

COATES: According to multiple sources, three Palestinian prisoners in Israel would be freed for every civilian hostage that is released. Now, a dilemma country often faces in order to achieve a resolution is whether to achieve that, whether to make the deal or to leave people behind. Is this deal unavoidable in order to bring innocent civilian home? I mean, the ratio of Palestinian lives to those who are the hostages, what do you make of it?

REZAIAN: So, you know, the reality, Laura, is that until there are more effective deterrence mechanisms in place, governments are going to have to make these hard decisions. I say that you have to decide to free your innocent civilians, especially in a case like this when so many of them are children.

You know, it is really not that difficult a choice when you think about it in those terms. Do these people deserve to be held in a prolonged way and potentially die in captivity or reunited with their loved ones?

I understand these are hard choices for any government to make. I don't put a lot of stock into the argument that making these deals encourages more hostage taking. What encourages more hostage taking is that there's nothing standing in the hostage taker's way at the moment.

So, I think, you know, for the time being, we're going to see more of these deals, whether it's in this situation in Gaza, whether it's with Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, and a host of other countries that do this, including friends of ours like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey.

But ultimately, we have to be thinking about what is it that we're going to do to make this behavior costlier than beneficial to those who take part in it. You know, I think we'll see the phenomenon continue until those deterrence mechanisms are really in place and the effects of which are being felt by the bad guys.

COATES: Jason Rezaian, thank you for being willing to share your story, just giving the context and your personal experience and journey. So powerful even to this day to think about what you've been through and what the road might be ahead for so many others tonight. Thank you so much.

REZAIAN: Thank you, Laura.

COATES: Well, there's a major hearing in the Georgia election interference case over whether to revoke the bond for this man, defendant Harrison Floyd, and Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis showed up to personally argue the case.


I'll tell you what happened, next.


COATES: He's accused of attempting to target witnesses with social media posts and other comments. No, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. It's about his co-defendant in the Fulton County election racketeering case. Harrison Floyd is his name. The judge today declined to jail him, but said that his bond agreement should be modified now to include more specific restrictions, which did not sit well with D.A. Fani Willis.



FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He was given an opportunity to cooperate with the rules of this case. And what he really did was spit on the court and refused to oblige by three of the seven conditions of this bond order. What we're really here to decide today is does this order mean something or not. He doesn't (INAUDIBLE) oh, I'm sorry, after I've already intimidated the witnesses in this case. It's too late.


COATES: The judge called it a technical violation going on to say -- quote -- "not every violation compels revocation." We'll be watching that case.

Thank you all for watching. Our live coverage continues in just a moment.